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Hanging in Montreal ... Lots Going On ... Jay Bouwmeester a Former Panther Soon ... Mike Keenan Says Hello

Expos MONTREAL -- Just got back from the prospects luncheon where I met a number of the guys who will be taken in tomorrow's first round.

Good group of players, no doubt. We'll see if the Panthers are able to sneak higher into the draft and take one.

If Florida stays at No. 14, one player to look for is defenseman John Moore out of Chicago. Kid is a pretty good player. Signed to play at Colorado College next year, but he says he's open to playing junior hockey if a team wants him to. Apparently every team does.

-- Word on the street is the Panthers sale to the Sports Properties Acquisition Corp. is done, with Tony Tavares -- who is part of that group -- already reported to be part of a bid for the Phoenix Coyotes.

I have now heard that Tavares is set to be part of the Phoenix deal with Jerry Reinsdorf, but that will have nothing to do with the Panthers other than Tavares would have to excuse himself from SPAC.

Finally got to talk to Michael Yormark today, and as he's done throughout this entire process, he refused to comment on anything regarding the sale. He did tell me that ''it's business as usual'' with the Panthers, and that the GM search is ongoing. They are taking their time.

-- The Jay Bouwmeester rumors are running rampant up here, with my people telling me that Philadelphia really wants Jay and are will to make some moves. Also have heard Vancouver is seriously in the mix and that the Canucks feel confident they would be able to get Jay to sign there with little problem.

Jay may be a former Panther within the next few hours, although I wouldn't be surprised to see this linger into tomorrow. The draft isn't until tomorrow night, so there's no rush. Well, OK, there is a little rush.

-- Ran into Mike Keenan outside the hotel here in Montreal. He looks tan and fit as usual, and says he's glad he's not in South Florida right now. Because of the weather. I do not blame him. It's Texas hot. It's warm here, but it's like our winter.

-- Spoke with Pierre McGuire regarding the Florida GM search and he says he has not spoken to Mr. Torrey yet. Which is strange, because I think the Panthers are real high on him. But with a break in the action, this is not so strange after all.


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TSN.ca is reporting that the asking price for Bouw is a third round pick... any confimrmation?

Eklund is saying it's Vancouver as well, but I think he is copying you George!

A lot of rumours floating around the centre...I even heard Buffalo named, and that's a complete joke...so, we'll know when we know...

George, I hear Philly is willing to give up Lupol for the rights to JBo, any truth to that? I know if Philly wants to sign JBo they will have to give up some guys to make room. With Lupol making over $4 million, he could be the guy they let go.
I think he would make a nice addition to this team, but I am wondering if the Panthers think his salary is too high. What are your thoughts?

I think if Eklund is saying it, it must be false.

Well, people are saying it's a 3rd this year, 1st next year, and Grabner for a signed Jay. HFboards has a radio station reporting that it is a done deal.

George, whatcha hearing brother?!?

What's the likelihood the Panthers move up (or down) in the draft? They already don't have a 3rd, 4th, or 7th round pick, what are they trying to get\willing to give up?

A lot of mock drafts I've seen have Florida taken John Moore or David Rundbland, one or both should be available at #14, do the Panthers have someone else targeted?

From what I've read, either of those look like good picks at #14.

Aside from J-Bo, do you see any other BIG surprises in the next 24 hours, George? The 'lesser Broward' papers here say that Sexton is spending some time wooing Anderson...any prophecy there?

Lupul is a good player, but not at 4 mil, IMO. Nobody is gonna give up too much for the rights to negotiate with Bouw if they're not SURE they can sign him. It's just simple economics. Why pay a lot for uncertainty when you can just wait to see what the market actually dictates. I'm sure The Cats realize that they have very little bargaining leverage, and will take the best offer they think they can get....but here's the rub, the clubs they are negotiating with know that to. For example, The Canucks, The Flames, or The Oilers would probably be willing to give up a bit more for exclusive bargaining rights because they know Jay would prefer to play in Western Canada, and therefore, have a better chance to sign him long-term. But Buffalo, and Philly might not be willing to give up as much because of the unlikelihood of being able to sign him(because of his locale preference). Randy Sexton will get what he can, but he also realizes his needs in relation to who's currently signed, how much money is available under the cap, who's available via UFA or trade, and how much the ownership(coming or going) has mandated he can spend.

I'm sure Sexton is holding out for the best deal now, but this suspense is killing me. It's funny I saw San Jose and Buffalo mentioned as teams interested. George said Buffalo was a joke, but SJ? A perennial winner with a talent-laden roster? I wonder if Jay likes the beach as opposed to cold western Canada...

It's quiet... too quiet... 4 and a half hours to go...

I agree!! Maybe Sexton is taking a post lunch nap??

This is for you Karl. Enjoy the music.


ummm... thanks? lol

Afraid that you wouldn't get it.

There's something happening here.
What it is isn't exactly clear.
What's that sound,
Everybody look what's going down.
Nobody's right if Everybody's wrong.

The story of the prelude to the NHL Draft.

got it, very clever, lol.

Just read a rumor that Bo's rights traded to Calgary for Cammileri's rights and a mid round pick... God that can't be true, right? Way too much to hope for...

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